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French authorities want to evacuate hundreds from migrant camp

media Authorities want to evacuate around 1000 migrants from the Jungle camp in Calais. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Local French government authorities said on Friday they want to move up to 1,000 migrants living in the notorious Jungle camp in the northern French town of Calais.

Fabienne Buccio, the government’s local representative said that no one must live in the southern part of the camp and that everyone must leave this section.

She estimated that between 800 to 1000 migrants would be affected.

Buccio said that government representatives would visit migrant communities on Monday to explain" the plans.

“We will give them a week to take up places that will be made available,” she added.

Around 4,000 migrants – a majority of them from North Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan – live in the makeshift camp from where they launch their often desperate efforts to reach Britain, across the Channel.

Their presence has become a political hot potato both within France and between Paris and London.

As winter set in, a new centre of 125 converted shipping containers was set up to house 1,500 migrants in better conditions, including heating and sockets for electricity.

However many migrants have been opposed to moving into the containers – which required their palm prints to be taken to move in and out – fearing it could impede their efforts to reach Britain and apply for asylum there.

- With AFP

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